Wikipedia tells me that the reason these little cabbages are called Brussels sprouts is because they are popular in Belgium and possibly originated there in the distant past. I don’t know. All I know is this: I always misspell them, and they are related to cabbages and broccoli and kale. These are vegetables I have historically hated, regardless of any magical health properties or fiber content they may have. The taste is overwhelming; the only time the taste isn’t overwhelming is when they’ve had the snot boiled or steamed out of them, rendering them less healthy and decidedly slimy. Seriously gross.
Then I married a man with a much broader palette than mine. He liked weird vegetables. He wanted to serve them at dinner occasionally. What in the world was he thinking?!
Keith was thinking that he’d actually had them prepared well, that’s what. So when we ran across a recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Cook’s Illustrated (best cooking magazine ever!), we gave it a go. OH. MY. WORD. I, the woman who hated them, could not resists second and third helpings. The roasting rendered them fall-apart tender, while crisping the edges almost to the point of blackened. They are exquisite. They only take 20ish minutes to make. Is there any downside? I think not.
Make them for Thanksgiving, people. You can prepare them in the amount of time it takes for the turkey to rest and be carved. You will not be disappointed.
ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Serves 6-8 people
(from Cook’s Illustrated, Nov/Dec 2011)
2.25 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved*
3 T olive oil
1 T water
salt & pepper, to taste
(*Note: Choose similar-sized sprouts if you can, preferably around 1.5 inches long.)
Heat your oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss the sprouts in a bowl with the oil, water, and a generous dash of salt and fresh ground pepper. When the sprouts are well coated, arrange them on the baking sheet with the cut sides down.
Cover the baking sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove the foil. Roast for another 10-12 minutes, until the sprouts are tender and beautifully browned. Transfer to a a serving platter, correct seasoning, and serve.